Griffith Base Hospital nurses have been at their wits’ end trying to care for so many patients at once, and they’ve declared that enough is enough.
Now they’re demanding the government for minimum nurse-to-patient ratios to put an end to the chronically understaffed wards and overloaded hospital staff.
It’s something that could make the difference between life and death according to nurse Yvonne Peisley, who has seen the quality of care suffer due to inadequate staff numbers.
“The nurses are doing the best they can, but they would like to do more for their patients than what they’re able to do,” Ms Peisley said.
She is furious at the NSW government for neglecting rural communities like Griffith, which generates large sums for state coffers while getting little in return for decades.
But she’s optimistic that things are starting to change for the better, especially with the government poised to finally deliver on their $189 million Stage 2 hospital revamp promise.
She said that now the funding was finally assured, it was more important than ever to push for proper nurse ratios.
“There’s no good having the fabulous new hospital if you don’t have enough staff within it to give the best level of care,” she said.
“Why should a rural person deserve any less than their city counterparts?”
Buoyed by the hospital funding announcement, the nurses have redoubled their lobbying efforts and won over another ally to their side in the form of Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers candidate Helen Dalton.
On Tuesday she signed onto the cause, joining the ranks of NSW Labor in pushing for minimum nurse ratios.
“Treasury should be putting their hands in their pockets and supporting rural and regional health for a change,” Mrs Dalton said.
“We’ve been ignored for too long.”
She said she knows about the crushing workloads nurses work under, having a mum, a grandma, and a sister who have worked as nurses, as well as a daughter who works as a doctor.
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